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Tessa Flack, Andrew Young, Timothy Andrews; Neural Representations of Expression and Viewpoint Information in the Temporal Cortex. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):433. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.12.433.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Movements of the face play an important role in social communication. For example, changes in facial expression provide information on emotional state, whereas changes in viewpoint convey information about the direction of attention. Our aim was to determine whether there are distinct neural representations for different types of facial movement and whether these representations interact. We used fMRI to investigate the neural representations underlying the perception of changes in facial viewpoint or facial expression. In the first experiment, participants (n=20) viewed sequences of faces that varied in viewpoint direction (0°. 45°, 90°, 135°, 180°). Using MVPA, we found distinct patterns of response within face-selective regions for each of the different viewpoints. In the second experiment, we asked whether the patterns of response to different viewpoints were distinct from the patterns of response to facial expression. Participants (n=24) viewed faces from 3 different viewpoints (45°, 90°, 135°) with 3 different facial expressions (fear, disgust, happy). We found distinct patterns of response to different viewpoints and to different facial expressions within face-selective regions. The patterns of response were dominated by changes in viewpoint, presumably reflecting the larger image changes caused by these movements. However, there was no interaction between the patterns of neural response to expression and viewpoint. Together, these results show topographically distinct neural patterns of response to viewpoint and expression that are consistent with the distinct social information conveyed by these different movements.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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